Olive Symphony and Musica all-battery mods are here!

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Vinnie R.

All,

I finished adding a link on my webpage for the NEW Olive Symphony and Musica music server mods:

http://www.redwineaudio.com/Olive.html

This is my very best digital source modification offering to date!  What it offers in terms of versatility and sonic prowess has totally exceeded my expectations.  :hyper:

I will have this unit at the VTV Expo in NJ next weekend (http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=27072)...feeding the new Signature 30 amp.  I will be picking up the new, professionally designed enclosure for it today!  

Thanks for all your continued interest and support!

Vinnie R.

Olive Symphony and Musica all-battery mods are here!
« Reply #1 on: 28 Apr 2006, 12:21 pm »
Quote from: RichardS
Vinnie
Will you be offering digital-only mods also, or only the whole enchilada? And can the BNC jack be changed to RCA or AES/EBU for those of us without BNC connections on our DACs?
Things are getting interesting. This may tempt me to sell my Squeezebox....


Hi RichardS,

Due to the redesign of the power supply to run on SLA battery power, if I don't do the analog output and input mods, those sections will no longer work at all.  

So to answer your questions, I will only be offering the "whole enchilada" mods.

As for the digital output jack, I am only going to offer this as a 75-ohm BNC jack.  After going with 75-ohm BNC jacks and digital cables with 75-ohm BNC plugs for external dacs, I have really grown to dislike RCA jacks for digital connections.  If your external dac does not have a BNC input, here are my recommendations (in order from best to worst):

-- Consider having your dac modified with a 75-ohm BNC jack (I can most likely do this for you), and use a 75-ohm digital cable with 75-ohm BNC plugs on both ends.
-- Purchase a cable with a BNC plug on one end and a BNC-to-RCA adapter on the other end.  For example, http://www.redwineaudio.com/cables.html
-- Use a BNC male to RCA female adapter for your RCA digital cable.

I will not be offering an AES/EBU mod for the Olive.  The digital output section was designed around the S/PDIF standard and I am going to leave it this way.

Thank you for your post,

MttBsh

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Sitting on the fence
« Reply #2 on: 28 Apr 2006, 08:42 pm »
Vinnie,

Someone had to ask: In the final analysis, if faced with the choice of going with a modded SB3 or "whole enchilada" modded Olive Music server - without regards to price or feature/function - could you share your opinion as to which produces the best sound?

The time is quickly approaching for me to retire the trusted and true S7700 Sony I've use for years as a transport and step up to 2006, and I see the modded SB3 or Olive as my best choices right now.

Any thoughts you could share would be greatly appreciated!    

Matt

Jon L

Olive Symphony and Musica all-battery mods are here!
« Reply #3 on: 28 Apr 2006, 08:51 pm »
Great work, Vinnie.   Two Questions:

1)  Computers tend to hate losing power suddenly.  Is there any backup power in case the battery runs out during operation?

2)  It's a long shot, but is it possible to implement the SLA battery mod to a "regular" audio PC, at least to power certain portions like the pro soundcard?

philipp

Olive Symphony and Musica all-battery mods are here!
« Reply #4 on: 28 Apr 2006, 09:18 pm »
Vinnie,
Is it easy to upgrade the hard drives in these? Is the interface IDE or SATA? It's strange that these systems cater to the Mac crowd but don't list Apple Lossless as a supported format.

Thanks for offering these upgrades! This may be my next digital source.

lonewolfny42

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Olive Symphony and Musica all-battery mods are here!
« Reply #5 on: 29 Apr 2006, 03:47 am »
Wow Vinnie !!! A new amp and a new digital source....nice !!! Looking forward to hearing them. 8)
    Good luck !!!![/list:u]
      Chris[/list:u]

davidada

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Olive Symphony and Musica all-battery mods are here!
« Reply #6 on: 29 Apr 2006, 12:47 pm »
My Olive Musica is on its way to the Maestro!!!!!

Vinnie R.

Re: Sitting on the fence
« Reply #7 on: 29 Apr 2006, 02:42 pm »
Quote from: MttBsh
Someone had to ask: In the final analysis, if faced with the choice of going with a modded SB3 or "whole enchilada" modded Olive Music server - without regards to price or feature/function - could you share your opinion as to which produces the best sound?

Matt


Hi Matt,

Fully modded SB3 vs Fully modded Olive.... the Olive wins (both analog and digital output sound quality).  


Quote from: Jon L
1) Computers tend to hate losing power suddenly. Is there any backup power in case the battery runs out during operation?

2) It's a long shot, but is it possible to implement the SLA battery mod to a "regular" audio PC, at least to power certain portions like the pro soundcard?


Hi Jon,

1) There is no backup power supply, so it is important not to play your modded any longer than the 8 hour recommended play time between charges.  Even if the power was suddenly lost, I would think that all would survive.  I wouldn't make a habit of this, but I doubt the machine would die from this.  The Olive also comes with a "Recovery CD"

2) I'm sure it is possible, but just like in the Olive, it is a pain in the butt!  :roll:

Quote from: philipp
Is it easy to upgrade the hard drives in these? Is the interface IDE or SATA? It's strange that these systems cater to the Mac crowd but don't list Apple Lossless as a supported format.


Hi philipp,

This is a very good question!  :)

The Olive Symphony uses an 80GB Hitachi "Travelstar" hard drive (2.5").  The interface is ATA-6:
http://www.hitachigst.com/hdd/support/5k80/5k80.htm

The Olive Musica uses a 160GB Samsung "Spinpoint" hard drive....ATA-7:
http://www.samsung.com/Products/HardDiskDrive/SpinPointVSeries/HardDiskDrive_SpinPointVSeries_SV1604N.htm

Of course I can't help but wondering what would be the result if I replaced the hard drive with a larger one, powered up the unit with the Olive Recovery CD to reload the operating system (I've heard it was Linux-based) and see if it works.   :scratch:  :wink:

All that it would take to accept Apple Lossless would be a software change.  I heard they are not doing it because of some copyright nonsense...  :evil:

Quote from: lonewolfny42
Wow Vinnie !!! A new amp and a new digital source....nice !!! Looking forward to hearing them.  
Good luck !!!!


Thanks, Chris!  Looking foward to seeing you at VTV!


Hi David,

I'll let you know when it arrives.  I'm looking forward to hearing your impressions when you receive it back after the mods.


Thanks for all your interest!

Vinnie

arthurs

Olive Symphony and Musica all-battery mods are here!
« Reply #8 on: 29 Apr 2006, 03:05 pm »
Any thoughts on the Opus Vinnie?

Vinnie R.

Olive Symphony and Musica all-battery mods are here!
« Reply #9 on: 29 Apr 2006, 08:03 pm »
Quote from: arthurs
Any thoughts on the Opus Vinnie?


Hi arthurs,

Besides reading the specs on their webpage, I have not investigated the new Opus.  Looks really good, but not cheap at $3K  :o

WilliamL

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Olive Symphony and Musica all-battery mods are here!
« Reply #10 on: 30 Apr 2006, 03:43 pm »
Yes,

The Opus interests me more than the others because of the incredible storage. Still, I think the Musica will hold about 400 CDs in lossless quality. Is that about right? Thats still inpressive and may fit my needs.

Cheers,
Bill

ZLS

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Olive Symphony and Musica all-battery mods are here!
« Reply #11 on: 30 Apr 2006, 05:48 pm »
According to the Olive Web Page the Musica holds 400 60 minute CD's.  Therefore if your average CD is 45 minutes, it will hold 625 CD's.


                                    ZLS

Vinnie R.

Olive Symphony and Musica all-battery mods are here!
« Reply #12 on: 30 Apr 2006, 11:27 pm »
Quote from: ZLS
According to the Olive Web Page the Musica holds 400 60 minute CD's.  Therefore if your average CD is 45 minutes, it will hold 625 CD's.
                                    ZLS

All,

The webpage says the Olive Musica will hold 450 60-min CDs recorded in FLAC.

So if your CDs are 45-min, it should hold 25% more... about 562 CDs.

maxwalrath

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Olive Symphony and Musica all-battery mods are here!
« Reply #13 on: 1 May 2006, 03:16 am »
If a set amount of storage space can hold 180 minutes of music, it can hold 3 60 minute CD's or 4 45 minute CD's.

3:4 = 450:600 45 minute CD's :thankyou:

Vinnie R.

Olive Symphony and Musica all-battery mods are here!
« Reply #14 on: 1 May 2006, 03:25 am »
Quote from: maxwalrath
If a set amount of storage space can hold 180 minutes of music, it can hold 3 60 minute CD's or 4 45 minute CD's.

3:4 = 450:600 45 minute CD's :thankyou:


I think Max has it right!  Think about it in terms of how many minutes of playback it can store.  

Thanks, Max!

Quote from: Vinnie R.
Of course I can't help but wondering what would be the result if I replaced the hard drive with a larger one, powered up the unit with the Olive Recovery CD to reload the operating system (I've heard it was Linux-based) and see if it works.  


Speaking of HD storage, I'm surprised my comments above haven't generated a little more buzz here  :o   :wink:

maxwalrath

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Olive Symphony and Musica all-battery mods are here!
« Reply #15 on: 1 May 2006, 03:30 am »
I'm just glad I got to use that emoticon...

Gordy

Olive Symphony and Musica all-battery mods are here!
« Reply #16 on: 1 May 2006, 03:48 am »
Quote from: Vinnie R.
Speaking of HD storage, I'm surprised my comments above haven't generated a little more buzz here  :o   :wink:


I noticed it with great interest  8)  I think 400G's is about what I'd like to see to get extremely interested!   I'm waiting to hear from the surgeon to see if the transplant was successful and if this would make it possible for additional and/or back up HD's...

brj

Olive Symphony and Musica all-battery mods are here!
« Reply #17 on: 1 May 2006, 04:20 am »
Quote from: Vinnie R.
Speaking of HD storage, I'm surprised my comments above haven't generated a little more buzz here  :o   :wink:

The 160 GB drive is the largest 2.5" hard drive currently available.  Is there really room to mount a 3.5" drive in a sufficiently cooled, sound isolated manner?

I haven't heard any of the Olive units, but based on what I've read, I really like their approach.  The fact that someone is offering mods is only an added benefit, and I think it is a fantastic move!

My biggest reservation regarding the Olive units - regardless of current hard drive offerings - is that they do not yet offer standard, economical storage expansion options or backup capabilities.  A larger substitute hard drive installed inside the unit is a good start, but doesn't fully address these concerns.  If Olive's offerings were just a bit more open and flexible in terms of storage, I think they could attract an even bigger following, even among those that have the ability to build their own quiet media PCs.

(Of course, Olive needs to watch their pricing too, as I suspect that a Mac Mini hooked up to a good external DAC via USB will give them a real run for their money in terms of price/performance.  You may lose the small, integrated display and one-box form factor, but you retain the ease of use while gaining a great deal of flexibility.)

bhobba

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Olive Symphony and Musica all-battery mods are here!
« Reply #18 on: 1 May 2006, 05:38 am »
Just a question for Vinni - out of curiosity any reason a BG was used for the output cap rather than say an auricap?

BTW very tempted to get one once certain financial issues resolved.

Thanks
Bill

Vinnie R.

Olive Symphony and Musica all-battery mods are here!
« Reply #19 on: 1 May 2006, 08:01 am »
Hi Guys,

My allergy medication is causing me severe sleeplessness, so I decided to jump back onto audiocircle at 3am.   :o   I'm almost up to 1,000 posts!

BTW, interesting discussion...thanks  :)

Quote from: brj
Is there really room to mount a 3.5" drive in a sufficiently cooled, sound isolated manner?


Hi brj,

The Olive Musica's 160GB drive is a 3.5" drive.  As for cooling, that doesn't seem to be an issue (there is no vents on the top cover and the drive does not really get that warm).  

Regarding your biggest reservation, I see your point.  I would be soooo nice if Olive simply allowed you to connect your external USB hard drive to the USB port on the back....an easy way to do a backup and to store more music.  I think their sales would dramatically increase by allowing for this.  I think all that is required for this to happen is a software change on their end  :roll: .  They are suppposedly coming out with an add on external hard drive.  This would be fine as long as it isn't priced much higher than other drives on the market.  

Quote from: bhobba
Just a question for Vinni - out of curiosity any reason a BG was used for the output cap rather than say an auricap?


Hi bhobba,

Good question.  Here are the reasons:

1) I required a cap with large enough uF's to avoid low freq. rolloff, AND...
2) I required a cap that was small enough to fit and would allow for easier direct soldering from the tiny surface mount pads on the board to the RCA jacks.  The small body of the BG cap and being able to solder these caps as described above also avoids wireless noise issues (I bumped into that problem when modding the SB3s with the Auricaps).

The BG NX-Hi-Q caps sound very good in this circuit.  I am more than happy with the results... I'm getting the warmth of a good NOS dac, but with superb tranparency.  I've comparisons with the modded analog output vs. the battery powered Monica 2 dac and I much prefer the modded Olive.  Blacker background (the cleanest sounding source I've ever heard...period!), better dynamics, much more open and transparent sounding, yet still retains that magical midrange warmth that I love about the Monica 2 (and other NOS dacs).  As I mentioned before, I have no desire to run an external dac..